There is something very magical about a lighthouse. Is it the fact they stand all alone in the middle of the oceans watching over the ships as they pass by like guardians of the sea? Is it the mesmerising red and white stripes that adorn the outside? Is it the comforting light that they shine through the dark? Or is is it something else? Whatever it is, Sophie Blackall tells an exquisite story in her Caldecott Medal winning book.
In the middle of the ocean on the highest rock stands a lighthouse. The job of the lighthouse is never-ending, sending its light out to sea and guiding the passing ships on their way. Inside the lighthouse lives the lighthouse keeper whose work is also never-ending. He cleans, he tends, he writes and he waits. Seasons come and go but the work of the lighthouse keeper is never done. But one day everything changes and the lighthouse keeper will have to find a new home…
Hello Lighthouse is a wonderful portrayal of life inside a lighthouse and the life of a lighthouse keeper. Sophie Blackall allows readers to experience the loneliness of being isolated on the lighthouse and then the happiness at the arrival of supplies, the lighthouse keeper's wife and then the birth of their child.
The book is also symbolic of the passing of time. The seasons come and go - the lighthouse is battered by strong winds, is wrapped in a blanket of fog, is surrounded by a frozen white wilderness but through it all it stands tall, proud and strong. The passing time is also reflected in the birth of the child and the technological advancements as the job of the lighthouse keeper is replaced by a machine.
The book is filled with incredible illustrations, my personal favourite being the cutaway that shows the inside of the lighthouse and the seven different levels. A fascinating author’s note details the important role that lighthouses play and the numerous jobs that the lighthouse keeper had to do on a daily basis. As with everything, time has moved on and technology has replaced the role of the lighthouse keeper but this book and the author’s note is a wonderful tribute to those who have lived in a lighthouse and experienced the life of a lighthouse keeper.
A wonderful tribute to lighthouse keepers and a book that shines as bright as the lighthouse that it is written about.
Recommended for 6+.